Scientists develop bioactive paper

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Fatimah Zahra Karim
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Scientists develop bioactive paper

Postby Fatimah Zahra Karim » 31 May 2007, 15:27

HAMILTON, Ontario (UPI) -- Canadian researchers have developed bioactive paper to detect and deactivate life-threatening bacteria and viruses, such as E.coli and salmonella.

Researchers from 10 Canadian universities, nine industrial partners, and federal and provincial government agencies formed a research consortium named the SENTINEL Bioactive Paper Network to develop low-cost and easy-to-use paper-based products with biologically active chemicals that can protect the public against increasing incidents of food-, water- and air-borne illnesses.

"What bioactive paper will offer are immediacy, portability and low-cost in detecting and repelling or deactivating harmful pathogens," said McMaster University Professor Robert Pelton, scientific director of SENTINEL. "Right now, it can take days or weeks to get samples to a lab, diagnose the problem and get the remedy into the field."

But George Rosenberg, managing director of SENTINEL said the development of bioactive paper also holds potential benefits for the paper products industry as well. "It provides our industrial partners with the opportunity to develop innovative, high value-added paper and packaging products" such as food wrappings and hospital masks, said Rosenberg.

Canada's Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council has provided $7.5 million in funding for the project through 2010.
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